Many true cannabis enthusiasts have a soft spot for shatter and consider it one of the best ways to consume cannabis. Now, the growing popularity of cannabis has brought this otherwise boutique method to the eyes and taste buds of the mainstream.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about this form of cannabis- what it is, why it’s popular, and how it’s made- as well as general advice on how to use it and where to buy it so you can decide whether shatter is the right cannabis concentrate for you.
Suppose your familiarity with cannabis only extends as far as smoking the occasional joint or eating a hash brownie.
In that case, you might be surprised to learn that concentrates (like shatter) aren’t as intimidating as they seem at first.
What Does CBD Shatter Do to You?
CBD shatter is a certain type of shatter weed that only contains cannabidiol. It doesn’t contain any THC and thus won’t get you high. It’s used by people who want to incorporate the known medical benefits of CBD, such as neurodegenerative healing, pain relief, and inflammation reduction, but without the effects of the high that is typically associated with marijuana. The reason people love this type of shatter drug is that it offers them a way to chill out and relax and get a little relief from their anxiety, without getting high.
If you choose the right CBD shatter, it should contain 0% THC.
Another great thing about this product is that you can blend it with your favorite herbs and essential oils to enhance the flavor. Below are some of the benefits of using CBD shatter:
- Delivers fast relief: Research has suggested that for certain medical conditions, CBD may be more effective than THC. Inhaling weed products through something like a vaporizer or an oil rig gives the fastest form of relief.
- Great for daytime use: When you need relief but don’t want to feel sedated, CBD shatter may provide an upbeat experience, perfect for the workday. It encourages a sense of focus which may be helpful for working through tasks, chores, and other stressful situations.
- You get the perfect dose every time: You simply add a scoop of the shatter to an oil rig, joint or a vape pen. How much you want to use is entirely up to you.
Research shows that CBD is a potent antidepressant and anxiolytic. Inhaling these products through things like a vaporizer or an oil rig gives the fastest form of relief. When the cannabinoids are inhaled, they are absorbed through the lungs and taken into the bloodstream. They then have quick access to the brain. Thus, the anti-stress and calming properties of CBD can be delivered, many times within a matter of minutes. That’s what makes this innovative new wax so incredible.
CBD shatter contains 97% pure hemp extract, which makes it one of the cleanest and purest forms of cannabis. Of all the shatter dabs, including waxes and oil, CBD shatter is thought to be the most effective for its calming and relaxing effects.
What is Shatter?
Shatter is a solid form of cannabis concentrate, characterized by its amber yellow colour. It resembles a glassy material that might “shatter” into a million pieces if dropped (hence the name).
You might also have heard some enthusiasts refer to “dabbing” or “taking a dab” when talking about consuming shatter. It’s essentially the same substance cannabis lovers often refer to as “wax” or “hash oil.”
- Did you know: The ingredients of shatter are identical to wax, but the physical appearance and state differ a bit.
Creating shatter with industrial solvents is a significant fire (and explosion!) hazard and, therefore, too dangerous for making it at home. If you’re going down that route, there are safer methods for DIY shatter that we’ll get into later in this article.
Regardless of the technique, shatter is an excellent way to use up the leftover cannabis residues in your grinder, known as kief.
Below, we present the methods of making shatter.
How is Shatter Made?
All shatter manufacturing methods involve extraction, which falls into two categories:
- Solvent-based extraction
- Solventless extraction
The majority on the market is solvent-based, made using either propane or butane. The rest uses a combination of heat and pressure to modify cannabis into a shatter-like concentrate.
Producing shatter with solvents is a volatile process that presents a significant fire hazard. You must therefore never make it indoors, or you could blow up the house.
The second method we’ll cover involves using the leftover kief in your grinder.
Making Shatter from Kief
Kief is the superfine powder produced by grinding weed flower buds. Some people sprinkle it into joints or blunts, while others prefer to collect as much of it as possible over time to make shatter. Making shatter from kief is a straightforward process most beginners should be able to do.
Bear in mind, though, that shatter made from kief can vastly differ in quality, potency, and consistency from one batch to another.
Such isn’t the case when using solvents like propane or butane.
The following are the steps for making shatter from kief:
- Preheat a hair straightener and set it aside.
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and empty the kief onto it. Make sure you have enough kief to cover at least one quarter (or more) of the parchment paper.
- Shape the kief powder into a square. Once done, start folding the parchment paper over the rectangular area where you placed the kief. The parchment paper should cover all of your kief from every angle. You may then cut off any excess parchment paper using scissors.
- The next part is crucial. Carefully clamp down your hair straightener over the parchment paper from both sides. Make sure all of the parchment paper is in contact with the heating plate.
- Push down hard for about two seconds. Hair straighteners can be hot to the touch, so use a towel or oven mitts if necessary.
- Remove the parchment paper from the hair straightener and unfold the paper. Inside you should see a honey-coloured substance leaking out from the kief. Collect it and use it. That’s it!
How to Make Shatter with Butane
Making it with butane- also known as BHO (butane hash oil)- requires experience and expertise, even in a safe environment.
A closed loop extraction system. Image courtesy of BHO Busters.
***Do not attempt this at home, this is for educational purposes only***
There are two ways BHO is made- “open-loop” or “closed-loop” extraction. In both methods, cannabis (usually trim) is packed into a tube and butane is run through it to extract the cannabinoids.
In open-loop systems, the solvent leaks out of one end of the tube, and since highly flammable butane is used, the smallest spark could set off a fire or even explosion. It’s especially dangerous in a closed room- like a garage, for example- and that’s why BHO should NEVER be made indoors with an open-loop system.
With all of the risks involved, you might be wondering why someone would make BHO in an open-loop system. The reason is that it’s way cheaper than closed-loop systems, which can be upwards of thousands of dollars for the lab-grade equipment. Meanwhile, open-loop systems are often cobbled together from everyday household items like coffee filters, Pyrex measuring cups, and double boilers.
Closed-loop systems are much safer to use because, as the name implies, they’re “closed,” so no butane can escape, which means less chance of fire or explosion. When it comes to commercial BHO extraction, closed-loop systems are used exclusively, typically in laboratory-settings. The butane can even be recycled for later use!
Shatter vs. Other Concentrates
Shatter is hardly the only cannabis concentrate on the market today. Each concentrate has its pros and cons. We compared the key facts, pros, and cons of each to shatter, as well as a comparison with regular weed.
Making budder requires the use of evaporating solvent while constantly whipping the mix. The manufacturing process creates a mass that’s creamy and easy to mold and manipulate.
Otherwise, budder is very similar to shatter. Due to this similarity, budder is much easier to work with when preparing it in a dab rig. On the other hand, budder has a low melting temperature and might ruin your smoking experience as it changes shape.
Rosin or live resin is a weed concentrate made using heat and pressure. Since there are no solvents involved in making it, rosin is an ideal alternative for those who don’t like dealing with solvent residue when consuming weed products. The main downside of rosin is the price, which is often quite expensive compared to other concentrates. Smoking hash and rosin has much more organic flavour than shatter as well.
Sugar or sugar oil is a crystalized weed concentrate created from cannabis strains that are extremely high in fat. During the extraction process, terpenes start to separate from the cannabinoids in the plant, making a sugary substance. Sugar is often available at a discount price at local dispensaries, making it one of the cheapest concentrates in the market.
Weed or flower buds of the cannabis plant are natural and unprocessed. The inherent advantages of weed over shatter are that it comes in thousands of different strains and flavours, whereas shatter is limited in this regard.
Additionally, there are plenty of ways to smoke or vape weed, while shatter requires specific equipment like a dab rig.
But shatter shines in offering more controlled, and often higher, concentrations of THC and CBD.
Shatter is a marijuana concentrate and therefore has many of the same properties and effects you can expect from smoking flower buds- except it’s stronger. Keep in mind that a small dose goes a long way.
What is the Best Way to Make Shatter as a Beginner?
We recommend that most beginners stick to purchasing it from reputable sources. If you insist on learning how to make it, then use the kief method described above. It’s easy to learn, very safe, and nearly impossible to mess up.
What are the Advantages of It Over Regular Weed?
Most of the effects of consuming weed and shatter will hardly differ, as long as you respect the dosage of shatter. A tiny dose of a concentrate is enough to give you strong effects, so make sure to take that into account.
On average, shatter will produce more potent highs than weed. Most of the advantages of shatter are in utility and use. For example, smoking shatter barely produces any smell, unlike regular marijuana.
Smoking shatter is a fairly involved and expensive process but is worthwhile for pot smokers who are looking for a heavier-hitting high. The high experienced from using shatter can be like getting high for the first time, even for the most experienced of smokers. If you are a first-timer, you should start slow and explore the way you feel.
While some people may want to scare you about the amount of THC present in shatter weed, don’t let them deter you from the potential therapeutic effects or the overall experience. Just take smaller doses, start off lightly, and find out what the right amount is for you. If you are looking for a potent and effective form of cannabis, then shatter is your go-to product.